Mark Saggers was talking to Alex Griffiths
So we know the outcome of the latest Carabou Cup draw, thanks to its exclusive appearance on a Far-Eastern Twitter feed.
Well, I have to say I don’t agree with the suggestion that this is in any way “an interesting move away from the usual post-game evening draws”.
I’ve also got a message for those running the EFL: stop pretending you are the Premier League!
An even worse boo-boo than this whole draw thing, held at 0415 on a weekday morning with no pictures and for the benefit of the sponsors alone, is the farce that has played itself out over goal-line technology since the story was posted, back on August 8, that GLT would NOT be in operation at eight Championship grounds.
Eight, you say? Did the news last week not point the finger strictly at Barnsley, Birmingham, Millwall and nowhere else?
Well, add Ashton Gate, Loftus Road, Sixfields, Hillsborough and Molineux to that little lot… at least, that’s all they were admitting to as the season kicked off!
I’m afraid the promise that: “the EFL is working with the clubs affected to find an appropriate solution and anticipate any issues will be resolved in the coming weeks. Any goal line decisions… will be taken by the match officials” rings a little hollow.
Maybe we should all look the other way and whistle in the meantime, then!
Or maybe the huge funds being thrown at this competition, which are presumably intended to generate good publicity, not bad, for three years at least, might actually be put towards sorting out these ‘lux’ and floodlight compatibility issues?
So what about the fan? And what about the referee?
Let’s hear, not just from understandably infuriated supporters, but from the leaders of the men who are not allowed to speak for themselves! Where does the duty of care come in for those guys with their career on the line? Some had extra pressure on their shoulders and that’s not right.
Neither referees nor fans should have to put up with being told that different clubs have to play to different rules, however lucky we have been that there was no incident this week to apply further pressure. It’s just not good enough.
The EFL is such a great league and it’s been my privilege to cover it for many years. But forgive my turning to a farming saying I picked up growing up out in the sticks: a decision in haste means bad hay and trouble!
Did the EFL clubs scratch the original agenda of their EGM back on April 6 and all simply sign up to the call to “copy the Premier League in as many ways as is humanly possible, no matter how daft it might make us all look?”
Just how much did the sponsors know about this whole GLT thing ahead of time, by the way? And let’s just say Accrington had managed to beat West Brom on the very first occasion they played each other… why should their fans have had to wait so long after the final whistle to learn the next destination on a thrilling journey? It simply can’t be justified.
Let’s have some sign of solidarity and strategy from those in charge, so that we are not left with the very real impression that knee-jerk decisions are being taken purely to keep up with the big boys.
See you next month, Saggs.